What does President Trump's new rule mean for migrant families and why is it so controversial? Learn more about it.

By Lena Hansen
August 22, 2019 08:45 PM

A new rule by President Donald Trump would allow the United States government to keep migrant families indefinitely detained if they cross the border illegally. This new regulation would replace the Flores Settlement Agreement, which mandated a high level of care for migrant children and families and limited the time they could be held in immigration jails to 20 days.

The controversial new rule sends a clear message to undocumented migrant families, telling them that they will be locked up indefinitely if they come to the United States. The Trump administration hopes this will diminish the growing flow of migrants coming to the border.

(Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

“One of the things that will happen, when they realize the borders are closing — the wall is being built, we are building tremendous numbers of miles of wall right now in different locations — it all comes together like a beautiful puzzle,” Trump said Wednesday. The president also told press at the White House that this would “make it almost impossible for people to come into our country illegally,” The New York Times reported.

(Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

To come into effect, Trump’s regulation would have to be approved by a federal judge. Under the new law, there would be new minimum standards of living conditions for families and children in the detention centers.

(Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

Immigration rights advocates are enraged and challenging the new legislation being proposed. “This is yet another cruel attack on children, who the Trump administration has targeted again and again with its anti-immigrant policies,” Madhuri Grewal, the federal immigration policy counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union told The New York Times. “The government should not be jailing kids, and certainly shouldn’t be seeking to put more kids in jail for longer. Congress must not fund this.”

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